While Jacquelyn Lupin was being declared “the Girl-Who-Lived” and Irene Romanov was being placed in her early grave, Gladys Tuff had successfully smuggled Harry Potter, Dudley Dursley, and Willamaerha Thristal out of London, England and straight to Cornwall, Wales. Only this time, the children’s names had been changed to Harrison, Caleb, and Wilhelmina Tuff.
Earlier, she had convinced everyone that it was better if Harry and Dudley had died along with Vernon, Petunia, and the Thristal brothers. Sirius disagreed, but the others overruled him. Irene had found two dead puppies and (with a bit of sadness), transformed the dead puppies into the dead bodies of Harry and Dudley, making the spell permanent in case she weakened later on. Gladys also had Irene cast a spell that permanently altered the appearances of Harry and Dudley, changing their features to those of a normal baby. Harry, who once had jet-black hair and green eyes, was now a normal-looking boy with brown hair and brown eyes while Dudley went from being blond, blue-eyed to brown, and grey-eyed.
Gladys also attended the funerals of the dead Harry Potter and his late family, shaking her head as she watched the priest speak about the death of innocents and the madness of life. She knew that she had a huge responsibility to safeguarding the two boys and making sure that they would never recall this terrible even in their short lives.
She also attended the burials and then left the funerals; no one saw her leaving with the children at all. Gladys knew that the time had come for her to leave London, possibly for good.
When the train pulled into Cornwall, Gladys stepped out. There, a strange man dressed in a blue robe with silver stars and moons approached her and said, “I understand that you are Gladys Tuff and you are a young widow with three small adopted children?”
“I am,” Gladys said, while trying to keep her false story straight in her head. “And I understand that you are taking me to Merlin’s School of Magic?”
“That I am,” said the man. “My name is Michael Rasputin, and I am the headmaster of the school. I run a school for orphans and squibs and I am not sure if your children even qualify for a spot at my school,” said Michael.
Gladys said, “Then let no one else know of this: I have here with me the famous Harry Potter, who took down the Dark Lord…”
“You mean that I’m looking at THE Harry Potter?” Rasputin cried out as he stared at the baby.
“Not so loud,” Gladys gasped. “We’re sending him to Merlin’s for his own protection from anyone who wishes to hurt him now that the Dark Lord is dead. Anyway, I also have Dudley Dursley and Willamaerha Thristal, who are both orphaned and a squib…”
“You mean to tell me that Mel’s daughter is here?” Rasputin cried out again.
“Keep it down; I don’t want anyone else to know about this!” Gladys cried out again. “Anyway, Dudley’s family is dead and so are Willamaerha’s brothers, and I just want to keep the children safe until the danger passes.”
“I see,” said Rasputin after a while. “And what names do you have for them while they are here at Merlin’s?”
“Harrison, Caleb, and Wilhelmina Tuff,” Gladys recited the children’s new names. That seemed to satisfy the headmaster. “Very well then, Miss Tuff,” he said. “To Merlin’s it is.”
A description of Merlin’s School of Magic: the school is tucked away in the woods behind the village of Glasnost, which the villagers affectionately called “Camelot” after the King Arthur legends. A huge building was interconnected to many smaller buildings and scores of small cabins scattered around a huge field. The building resembled a towering, overcrowded reddish-brown stone castle. It was approached by a wide cobbled walkway. The castle was once owned by a bespelled enchanter and featured a lavish garden. The castle also had a priceless collection of jewels, a vast library, and many stained glass windows. The nearby mining settlement contained a large courtyard made from marble, a large fountain, and the place is noted for its magic.
The 60 or so dorms at the school could hold as many as six people at a time and were given such names as Galahad, Lancelot, Percival, and Bors, after the Knights of the Round Table. The males’ names were for the boys and the female names (such as Anna, Ingraine, Morgan, and Guinevere) were for the girls.
There was a huge dining hall with many round tables (to coincide with the legend of the Round Table) where the students would go to eat their meals and past the doors would lead to a huge building where classes were held.
After leaving the dining room, you’d enter a huge building where classes were held. For as large as the school appeared to be, it was quite small. It was small because the number of students attending were quite few. Most of them were orphans who were left in the night secretly by careless Wizarding families who wanted nothing more to do with them.
Gladys shook her head and wondered why on earth Wizarding families would want to dump their unwanted children at such an old castle. But before she went too far, several people came forward, seeing them come out from the station.
One of them said, “We’re glad you’re here, Mrs. Tuff.”
“No,” said Gladys. “Not Mrs. Tuff. Just Miss Tuff, thank you very much. I’ve recently lost my husband weeks ago and I don’t need to be reminded.”
“I’m very sorry,” said the woman. “Do forgive me. My name is Eleanor Diggenstyke, I know, funny name. But anyway, we are here to welcome you to Merlin’s School of Magic.”
“Thank you,” said Gladys. “But anyway, can someone explain the history of the school to me?”
“Well,” said Rasputin, “the school is hundreds of years old, even older than Hogwarts. A squib who determined that squibs need not live in the muggle world founded it; they needed their own place to live. And also, to attend school, for squibs were forbidden to attend magical schools…”
“And what was his name?” Gladys asked.
“His name should no doubt be familiar to you,” said Eleanor.
Gladys said, “But I haven’t heard the story of a squib who built a school for squibs.”
“You have not?” cried another man. “Where did you grow up?”
“Germany,” said Gladys. “Near the Alsace-Lorraine border. My family was the Larson family with connections to Sweden and France. Not English. Anyway what was his name?”
“His name was Isaac Blake Parson,” said Isaac. “I should know; I am his descendant.”
“And your last name is?” said Eleanor.
“Kempson,” said Isaac. “But anyway, Parson saw fit to educate the squibs and even to build a secret society for squibs, as they cannot be in either the wizarding or muggle worlds. But that was only wizarding England. I have no knowledge of how they treat squibs in other countries.”
Rasputin said, “In the States, it matters not if one is a wizard or not. That country is a violation of the wizarding laws; they allow werewolves and vampires to co-exist with wizards and even humans. Squibs have rights in that country. The States, indeed!”
“That is enough Michael!” cried Eleanor. “The States has long been a refuge for those who are seeking a safe home from persecution. Our country, as well as many others, has indulged in the sin of depriving people of their rights, and many of those vampires and werewolves we have executed and squibs have been made slaves in several other countries. But enough of that.”
Gladys said, “I did not come here to learn of our country’s dirty sins. And if you insist on continuing, I shall take the children and returning to my family.”
An older woman said, “Surely you must not leave with a squib child, for it is wrong and illegal for a squib to exist in wizarding Britain. Miss Tuff, please consider our school. Mr. Parson knew that he needed to create a world where squibs could live out their lives without interference from both muggle and wizarding worlds. And not only that, he made sure that squib children were given a decent education and here is that place. You will give our school a chance, no?”
“Yes,” said Gladys. “And I will like to take the children and settle them in.”
“Very well,” said Mother Mira. “The students will be arriving Sunday and I’d be delighted to have your children join them. The school is designed to educate those as young as 2 years old, when the magic is expected to manifest itself and make itself known.”
“You don’t actually teach the children magic?” cried Gladys.
“No,” said Rasputin. “We don’t. But we do teach them the skills of a Wingmaker. For the Parson family have been bound to the Wingmakers and his grandson was the son of Parson’s daughter and a Wingmaker and he taught that skill when he was headmaster of Merlin’s. Many of the people in the village are Wingmakers…”
“And who are the Wingmakers?” Gladys cried out. After everyone stared at her, she said, “Sorry. I didn’t know about them.”
The headmaster and his helpers said nothing else as Gladys took the kids and went into her new room. Gladys wondered if she was doing the right thing by taking the children to Merlin’s. And if the headmaster and his people proved to be lying, she could easily take the children back to Germany and reveal to the Ministry of Magic where the secret squib village was hidden.
Rasputin frowned thinking what he was getting into by letting Gladys Tuff and her three adopted children into the school. She seemed to not know much about wizarding England, having grown up in wizarding Germany and attending a school that placed much value in magic and claimed that squibs were worthless and were better as slaves. In fact, her family had employed 20 squibs as servants while she was growing up.
But when her father died, Gladys’s mother remarried and moved to England, but Gladys chose to stay at home until her 18th year, when she and her siblings were ordered to leave their home and join their mother and her new family. Bill rejected them and wanted them gone. Gladys was married off to Framel Tuff, but they had no children.
Gladys herself vowed to never return to her home or family and she would raise Harry, Dudley, and Willamaerha in safety and comfort, never mind the headmaster and his helpers or what they stood for; Gladys resolved that Harry would never know about his true family or his past until many years had come and gone. Dudley would not know about his family at all.
But even the best plans go awry, but it would be 12 years before Harry would once again set foot in wizarding England.
Until that time comes, Harry would be at Merlin’s.
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